Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On Remembering the Present and Imagining the Past (11.30.10)

A particular passage from Sanctifying the World struck me. Dawson once wrote in a letter that "it seems to me that there is no more sense in asking, 'What is the use of history' than asking what is the use of memory. An individual who has lost his memory is a lost individual, and a society that has no history and no historical consciousness is a barbarous society. It is as simple as that."

If this is true -- which I believe it is -- it leads to the questions, what is human memory and what is it good for? Brain neurologists can tell you that, contrary to common sense, memory is not some sort of exact imprint of the past on the brain. Rather, it is always very much a "work in progress," with things being added, deleted, and synthesized into a more or less comprehensive picture. Looked at this way, there really is no such thing as an objective past, only our ongoing construction of it in the present. It is very much "the presence of the past," which is to say, an extension of the present into the past, rather than vice versa -- which is why history must be rewritten (or at least reevaluated) by each generation, since the past keeps changing in light of the future.

Or, at the very least, these two modes must be considered dialectically: the past reaches into the present, just as the present reaches into the past. What we call "history," or the recollected past, is more like a dynamic whirlpool created by these two streams. This is one of the main reasons two historians can regard the identical reality -- even utilizing the same materials -- so very differently. One historian looks at the American revolution as a rare and glorious irruption of Light into the darkness of politics, while another sees it as a venal con-job by wealthy and self-interested racists.

Thus, the past is clearly conditioned by the psychic present of the person interpreting it. When I read leftist "revisionist" history, my first question is usually "why is this person such an asshole?" They would no doubt feel the same way about me, except that they would say something like "why is he such a bad scholar?" But the much more important question is who is actually the asshole here? In other words, they will convert a feeling they are having into a statement about my qualifications, whereas I just go with the feeling, so long as it abides in higher cOOnvision.

You will notice that intellectually inferior leftist elites do this constantly, that is, disguise simple contempt as intellectual superiority, whether they are talking about global warming, economics, religion, "right wing talk radio," President Bush, etc. And this is why they are so incredibly blind to their prejudices: because they are first felt and only then experienced as self-evident "thoughts" -- thoughts that the conservative is "stupid" for not seeing with equal clarity. And because these liberal "thoughts" are not self-evident to the conservative, the liberal imagines that it must emanate from malevolence, which is to say, evil (which the liberal doesn't even believe in). For example, liberals always characterize Rush Limbaugh as hateful, when I can't even remember ever hearing him angry. Rather, the predominant mood of the program is nearly always one of joy -- as in joyously kicking liberal's asses. Just because they hate having this done to them, they imagine that Rush is hateful.

This is why conservatives think liberals are generally either wrong or stupid, while liberals feel that conservatives are evil. And since they are evil, there is no reason to develop sensible arguments to deal with them. Invective and moral condemnation are sufficient, as we see everywhere on the left, from the mountains of academia, to the highlands of the New York Times, to the lowlands of Hollywood, and into the sewer of dailykos.

Psychoanalytic therapy works exactly along these lines -- at least the form of therapy in which I was trained. That is, whatever a patient says about the past, it is presumed that he is actually (in some sense) making a statement about the present -- about his own present psychic organization, about his relationships and conflicts, and especially about the here-and-now reality of the therapeutic situation. In fact, this is what Bion meant by O. That is, as he sat there with a patient, he considered the reality of the situation to be an evolving field -- an unknowable, noumenal reality that shifts and changes on a moment-to-moment basis. One must notice the subtle changes in the nature of this field, and not necessarily get distracted by the content, since the content is more like the penumbra around O. In order to intuit O -- or for O to evolve into (k) -- we must, as Bion wrote, "suspend memory, desire, and understanding."

When you are in the presence of anyone, there is an unstated, preverbal reality between or "around" the two of you. This reality -- which is an aspect of O -- is at least as "real" as the conscious speech that passes between the two parties. You could say that it is more like the background, context, field, or "container" for what transpires within it. And it isn't an "empty" space, but -- as in modern physics -- a space that conditions the content "within" it.

We all notice this field, even if only unconsciously. Call it the "vibes" of a situation if you like. As a therapist, one is trained to pay close attention to the vibes given off by a patient (the "counter-transference"), since they speak volumes about the psychic reality in which the patient lives and has his being. Furthermore, one must be especially careful not to confuse the patient's vibes with one's own, which is easy to do if one lacks insight and awareness.

We all experience this from time to time. For example, we might be in a bad mood, so we experience our spouse as a different person than we did yesterday -- as a persecutory presence. Or perhaps you have listened to a particular piece of music, thinking you didn't like it, when it was just the mood you were in. For me, it is a common experience that certain types of music are inaccessible if I am not in the right frame of mind. What can sound like the music of the spheres one day can sound like music of the squares the next.

While neurologists think of consciousness as "the remembered present," there is another vital aspect of it which might be called the "unremembered memory of the present." One of the reasons it is unremembered is that if we had to equally contend with the background of the present, we'd be too distracted to deal with its foreground. This is why we often have to pay a specialist to systematically examine the background container of our present -- things we are unconsciously recalling that we don't want to, and that simply get in the way and distort it.

You might say that by far the larger part of memory is not that which we recall, but that which recalls us. For example, every night we are "forgotten" by O as we dissolve into the unconscious dreamworks, only to be re-collected and reconstituted by it in the morning. In this regard, it is very much analogous to being beamed down by the transporter each morning:

"A transporter is a fictional teleportation machine used in the Star Trek universe. Transporters convert a person or object into an energy pattern (a process called dematerialization), then 'beam' it to a target, where it is reconverted into matter (rematerialization). The term transporter accident is a catch-all term for when a person or object does not rematerialize correctly."

Indeed, perhaps you may have noticed that O is not entirely consistent in this regard -- that you might have had a little transporter accident overnight. It is as if the transporter left a few molecules out when it reassembled you in the morning. Or to use a computer analogy, you're a little "buggy." One morning you wake up feeling this way, while the next morning you wake up feeling that way. Perhaps something is "missing," not some easily identifiable content, but again, more like the background context that would allow it all to make sense. Often the only "cure" is to go back to sleep and reboot.

Now, what does this all have to do with history? I don't know yet. I guess we're about to find out. As Flaubert once said, "writing history is like drinking an ocean and pissing a cupful." Let's hope, like the left, we're not just doing the opposite.

40 Comments:

Blogger River Cocytus said...

It seems that proper history is the art or craft of taking known facts and recontextualizing them based on the present. Revisionist history is by definition a history which must remove or add facts to work as a narrative, and we all know the curses for those who add or remove from the Book.

Thus you can have two historians who disagree about the interpretation of the facts and still both be historians, they can even agree about the truth of the facts and thus their importance, but the man who manufactures 'facts' whole cloth as facts or dissolves them willingly is no historian at all.

The art is that real history makes sense of all known facts and makes room for all of the unknown ones.

12/19/2007 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

I took a course on the Philosophy of History as an undergraduate. It made NO sense to me then. I'm actually quite happy about that in hindsight. It made no sense to me because I lacked even rudimentary coonvision, hence the entire framework (vertical/horizontal, future omega point drawing history "from ahead") which is absolutely required before one can even begin to think about history was missing. Of course I couldn't make sense of history.

Now, were I one of those accursed souls apparently lacking even the capacity for coonvision (as with certain aggressive atheists) then I would have been far worse off. Such people -- including almost all hard leftists -- have NO problem assimilating history or any other conceivable field into their sham rubric. The students who rapidly snap all the pieces into place on today's campus (patriarchy, privelige, power - or Guns, Germs and Steel - whatever) are scary people. Far better to be one of those groping around blindly. At least then one has the possibility of happening upon a small clearing in the forest, perchance to glimpse the strange sight of a Raccoon in full song.

That's the real problem with the Left: they have it all figgered out.

12/19/2007 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>a society that has no history and no historical consciousness is a barbarous society<<

To be honest, I don't think I ever really "applied" myself in high school - it was just a hazy maze of guitars, parties, and midnight romps. And yet - by the time I graduated, I knew when the Revolutionary War and Civil War had taken place, who Lincoln, Grant, Lee, and Jeff Davis were, I knew when WW I had occurred, I knew who the WW2 Allied and Axis powers were, when the Korean War had taken place, etc., etc.

As someone recently said, the current younger generation(s) seem to be the first to have no or little idea of where they came from historically. For example, they might have some idea who Hitler was, but only in the sense of his being a kind of comic book villain, ie., a bad guy in a cool sort of way.

How was it that, back in an age before today's smorgasbord of ready info access, I was able to absorb certain historical facts - and more than facts, certain historical *essences* - that seem lost on so many of today's younger generations?

I might speculate that the "unstated, preverbal reality" (Bob's phrase) of the time - the universal vibe, so to speak - was conducive to the transferring of history and tradition in a way that it simply doesn't exist today. It was as if there was a kind of mental/spiritual ether present in the atmosphere that served as a carrier field. Subjectively, I might even say it felt like a "fullness."

Also subjectively, I might say today's vibe feels like a thinness, an emptiness, one in which essences have no medium to travel.

Objectively, I can say that only materialistic, secular minds could have so depleted the atmosphere.

12/19/2007 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Will, perhaps it is that we've dropped the 'facts' because they are empty in and of themselves. So you have to learn enough of them to create any kind of meaningful synthesis. Instead, we have 'shortcut' history where we are given the synthesis with facts trailing behind as afterthought.

Almost as though they think they know everything already...!

12/19/2007 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Full Sail
aft rigged mizzen mast
beyond here there be dragons
cold concrete sidewalk

12/19/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Will said:
today's smorgasbord of ready info access
&
today's vibe feels like a thinness, an emptiness, one in which essences have no medium to travel

Humm, might the problem not be missing a 'steady' framework to which to apply topical info? I'm thinking a-la-Van's scaffold for building cathedrals.

You have to have the framework, when you start, so there's 'someplace' to put the thousands of individual elements that go into constructing a building that can stand on its own. Only then can you pull away that scaffold & dink with possibilities.

And ya better have put re-bar in the right places, or that sucker's gonna come crashing down.

It's like having memorized multiplication/division tables as a kid, having the calcs right at hand, so the framework is there for other number stuff. Laid-out brain pathways for info & concepts to be added.

These kids need a calculator for simple things, need those annoying talking GPS thingies cause they can't read a map & retain the info, can't even make change at Starbucks.

What on earth does fill their head-space, that's what I want to know.

12/19/2007 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

"perhaps it is that we've dropped the 'facts' because they are empty in and of themselves. So you have to learn enough of them to create any kind of meaningful synthesis."

Or maybe the facts don't really convey meaning at all, even in the aggregate, unless they are connected to a meaning that already exists. That would mean that, if the overarching meaning or truth is that there is no such thing as meaning or truth, the facts are entirely meaningless, no matter how many of them you know.

Up here, there's another stupid controversy. A transgendered 10 year old boy is being considered to have special needs that authorize him to use the girl's room at school. Leaving aside the question of what a transgendered 10 year old is or is not, this means that someone, maybe him, has imposed an arbitrary "meaning" on his physical self (assuming he's not truly hermaphroditic; but even if, make up your mind already.) which now has the potential to deprive the boys and girls bathrooms of their meaning, despite their factual content, and thereby rewrite the history of bathrooms entirely and usher in complete confusion. Maybe even eliminate the meaning of elimination, but that's another story.

12/19/2007 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous enter the sandman said...

Aurobindo's take on sleep is a little different from what you described in your post.

He thought that the person went into O during sleep and made a deeper contact with it. Rather than being forgotten, the person is remembered by O.

Upon awakening, that is when the forgetting takes place.

Sleep states, for Aurobindo, could be above waking states in the hierarchy of consiousness.

He called the majority of dreams literal visits to different "planes." These planes corresponded to the "vital" (emotional) "mental" (pure mind), "overmind" (intuitive) and "supermind" (spiritual) realms which are actual places although their exact relationship to spacetime is not clear.

In these planes the human subtle body is a real entity that interacts with other entities therein, some beneficial, some neutral, and some hostile.

The state of mind before sleeping, he taught, was of great importance. To call the Divine before sleep is recommended by him as a safeguard to prevent bad experiences and influeces while sleeping.

Waking consiousness, by contrast, is a safe and plebian environment where fewer nasty surprises are encountered.

Anyone care to weigh in with some sleep experiences, heavy dreams, prophetic dreams, etc?

12/19/2007 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

When I was a teen, I thoroughly enjoyed reading world history. My uncle had a series of approximately 20 books, which I enjoyed from the dawn of history through the Middle Ages and even through the Renaissance and into the Industrial Revolution. But as the books approached the modern age, something changed in the presentation. It sounded less and less like history and more and more like commentary on today's society.

I have later thought that this is like a corpse. When the skin and flesh have rotted away and only the skeleton is left, there is a clarity. But in the intervening period, where the flesh is still decaying, there is chaos.

It is the same with individuals and their memories of a loved one after death or divorce. For quite a while, there is this putrefaction of memories as they transform into something completely different, as if the subject of the memories becomes a completely different person.

This transformation does not seem to happen in me. But I am hardly normal or even normative for humans.

12/19/2007 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Dear Raccoons,
Please excuse this inneriptual…

Yesterday I sent a submission to the Boboard of Directions. This panel, as you know (if you are a Raccoon disregard this rebeat message), is reviewing words for incluesion in the never to be available at Amazon.com, Vol 1 Edition of the Raccoon Dictionary.

I have only served two terms with definitions and so far that coonstitoots the whole book.

I have yet to hear from the Chairman of the AllsoBoard and can only ahsueme that it’s good news. However, the panel did say, “If the phone doesn’t ring you’ll know it’s us.”

Thought it was timeish to ruin it up this flagpost and see if any paws saluted.
If you are a Raccoon, let me know if it missfits for youman coonsumpthin.
If you are a troll, please allow me to uninvite yourself. It’s just another anomaly anyway, so go ahead and feel as unfree as you all ways bar and reject it outleft standing beneath your bridge.

Thank you.
Executive Editor

Hear tis: Anomaly

12/19/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

>>Thus, the past is clearly conditioned by the psychic present of the person interpreting it. When I read leftist "revisionist" history, my first question is usually "why is this person such an asshole?"<<

Take that "Dono" Bono!

[Classic Vanderleun]

12/19/2007 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Could it be that the speed of the vibe today is so fast that it needs to be thinned out or a human mind would simply be overwhelmed? Technology is getting smaller and faster exponentially. ADD is normal and kids have an attention span of a gnat. Instant access to exorbitant amounts of information. Some true, some not so true. The world seems to be speeding up all the time. Oy, I sound old (I'm really not that old)...it's all relative, I suppose.

wv: sfasfly

12/19/2007 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

sandman--

What I meant, in case it wasn't clear, is that in dreams the ego is "forgotten" by O, not the Self.

12/19/2007 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

"Or maybe the facts don't really convey meaning at all, even in the aggregate, unless they are connected to a meaning that already exists. That would mean that, if the overarching meaning or truth is that there is no such thing as meaning or truth, the facts are entirely meaningless, no matter how many of them you know."

Well, from my perspective our style of schooling prefers that you don't come up with your own idea about the facts based on your 'pre-existing meaning'. So it provides one with some facts tacked on the end to make it seem like history. But real history consists of taking dry facts and 'Adding Water'.

Since I am of the Hofstader school of philosophizin' I think that given enough facts most people will sense the internal, implicate meaning (though it is extraordinarily unlikely they will be completely correct on all counts) the only way to stop this is to provide few facts and present beforehand the framework in which they are to be interpreted.

Perhaps part of the reason I can 'speak music' is because I learned the 'facts of music' before I understood the framework; the framework gradually became visible behind the mess of techniques and notes.

This is why for at least another 10 years we will have brilliant mathematicians (children learn math as a discipline) -- that is until the 'new math/everyday math' students enter college. Then the hard sciences are basically doomed.

12/19/2007 01:00:00 PM  
Anonymous coonified said...

There are two important terms that come to mind when thinking about history: Shankara's notion of subration, and Hegels sublation. we'll focus on the first.

In the words of Eliot Deutsch, subration is "the process whereby we disvalue previously valued content in consciousness,"a process the is at once neotic and axiological and aims at relegating one experience by another that "unequivically declares it to be less real and less valuational." This also reminds of a systems theory dynamic called "convergence," where "a higher-level system...selectively disregards many details of the dynamics of its subsystems and imposes an internal constraint that forces the systems into a collective mode of functioning." (Ervin Lazlo). These two notions seem to be a subjective and objective phenomena of the same operation. But nevermind; the point is that not only are our personal histories forged by this dynamic, but also our collective history.

Using Augustine's trinity of mind (since history is forged by persons' with mind)--Memoria, will, and understanding--it follows that these three aspects intesify in their reality to the extent that they are suspended in Reality--the everpresent. This is the same as what Gagdad wrote: that "in order to intuit O -- or for O to evolve into (k) -- we must, as Bion wrote, "suspend memory, desire, and understanding." This act of suspension necessarily results in subration, which is an influx (n) evolving to new (k), and the reinterpretaiton of previous (k).
History is, thus, (just as my life) the a 'process of distilling essence from nothingness'. The more real the mind and it's trity, the less the details of the past matter. In other Word:

"the body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body."

Only incorruption re-members, and is worth the History. The rest is just static, or history.

12/19/2007 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous coonified said...

'To sublate' has a twofold meaning in the language: on the one hand it means to preserve, to maintain, and equally it also means to cause to cease, to put an end to. Even 'to preserve' includes a negative elements, namely, that something is removed from its influences, in order to preserve it. Thus what is sublated is at the same time preserved; it has only lost its immediacy but is not on that account annihilated." (Hegel)

I think to marry the two-- subration and sublation--would be important in illuminating history. Actually, this is a problem that will take awhile to solve. My mind's breaking just down thinking about it. Time to stop thinking.

12/19/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Regarding waking up, you wrote:
"Perhaps something is "missing," not some easily identifiable content, but again, more like the background context that would allow it all to make sense."

I once heard a radio interview with John Madden, which began shortly after 7 AM. The show's host greeted him, and asked how he was doing?

"I don't know," said Madden. "I don't have all my parts yet!"

12/19/2007 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous John Madden said...

I'm running around the backfield looking for my mind and the coffee kicks in like a blitzing linebacker and Boom! there it is right there.

12/19/2007 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Riv,
RE “our style of schooling”, interesting way to put it. My perspective is similar in that the way to make history suite your style is to “style” it by omission; leave out the facts that you not only don’t like because they don’t fit your template, but to remove the template entirely. But the omission problem doesn’t necessarily mean we just need more facts. My point is it’s a quality problem. Using Bob’s revolution example, leave out foundational “facts” such as reading and understanding the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and this is what we get. When I was in school we only talked “about” those documents, pointed to them as if they were just “records”. What wasn’t stressed was the “why”. Reading them gives you the “why”. Knowing the people gives you the “why”. The consequences they faced if they failed and all their facts that must have told them they should fail. And they didn’t need to do it. Many were already wealthy and didn’t need to literally risk their necks.
History is about the people. If you subtract the foundational “why”, all the facts have the same value. In other words, if our founding documents are regarded as say, no greater than any other date or what someone was wearing, then that’s how they’ll be treated by the student who naturally respects his teacher. Or rather, the teacher is able to fill the template spaces anyway he likes, and the facts that remain are still facts. If you ignore or even reduce the greatness of the great people of history, the student has a very low, easy standard to try to live up to - maybe none. What’s the difference between two paintings?...Starry Night and Mona Lisa. Both painters used brushes, paint, canvas. But why did they paint? They didn’t have to. Or did they?

12/19/2007 05:58:00 PM  
Anonymous walmart shopper said...

Yeah, could the left be any more wrong about Rush? Rush, Hannity, and for that matter Bush and Reagan and the rest, are about as warm-hearted and big-souled as they come. It's obvious (or should be) that these are genuinely good guys.

It's sickening how the left sees them as pure evil, but it does give us an opportunity to see in a really clear way how fundamentally Screwed Up! the left's perceptual apparatus is. I think this kind of clarity is good.

I'll also add this -- if the left can be so wrong about something so self-evident as the basic decency of someone like Ronald Reagan, then you know they're getting lots of other stuff wrong too.

12/19/2007 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

True, true.

A quantity of facts in and of itself will not solve the problem. But, without them, we're also left stranded. A history removed from facts is just a story and even if it is true in the deeper sense discovery of its factual falsehood would be alienating. Think 'The Village'.

Not sure why that concerns me, perhaps just that I often see the push towards narrative-based history as an excuse to push a favorite narrative.

There is, I would surmise, a great difference between using the truth as the narrative versus some hobby horse.

In fact, with the Good, Beautiful and True it is no longer merely a narrative.

Phew! And I thought my head was hurtin' before when trying to comprehend Walt's Invisibility of the Self! You've got that right, Coonified. History done breaks the head pretty good.

12/19/2007 06:24:00 PM  
Anonymous walmart shopper said...

I've never paid any attention to the B-52s, but I bumped into this the other day and was impressed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLfbu7NzBWI&feature=related

BTW, I'm certain the girl on the right has a nearly ideal hip-waist ratio.

12/19/2007 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The B-52s are a hoot! I was just listening to them in the car yesterday. A combination of retro-futurism, southern trash, girl-group sounds, sci-fi kitsch, and the kind of good old-fashioned winking, non-scary, non-angry and non-bitter gayness that hardly exists any more...

12/19/2007 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Do I need to reboot, or just de-frag?

Or both...?

12/19/2007 07:15:00 PM  
Anonymous walmart shopper said...

Yes - exactly!

They are definitely a hoot. And true about the gayness, which is just charming. I had always dismissed them as silly (which they are) and never gave them a second thought, but I'm seeing now that I was messin up. There is so much going on with that band that is clever and well crafted. And I love their southern accents when they give interviews.

12/19/2007 07:43:00 PM  
Anonymous walmart shopper said...

Earlier link was bad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLfbu7NzBWI&feature=related

12/19/2007 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Riv,
We agree.
My problem with quantity of facts was that numbers don’t go that high :-) I’ll never finish and, if I can even get past go, I’m doomed to an incomplete story which is to say, end very far from the meaning. With a fine-tooth fact extractor all the fact grains in my bucket get the same value. You have to leave out a large number of the small ones. Genesis is a perfect example. In my opinion, it does not conflict with Darwin’s theory. It just leaves out the unimportant, excruciating detail.

I’d rather have a favorite good narrative than a favorite quantity minus quality narrative. A kid can be turned around with one really great story. And then he wants another. And another. And eventually he wants to try to be one. That may be just us kids anyway. But I do see it in my son’s eyes occasionally when I’m telling him about something that blew me away when I learned it. When I see that, I don’t worry about him so much. And my stories don’t go like this: “Archimedes was born on a Thursday in December 1492, write that down…” :-) That stuff has to come after the meaning gets in or there’s no room for it.

I just don’t see how some of these lefties can expect to build a better country by constantly showing kids only the faults in it. I think that’s a greater falsehood. This place is at least 95% good – at least to me – and they spend way too much time in the 5%. Like Bob was saying the other day about the constant hand-wringing over the 5% unemployment rate. I remember hearing this very successful businessman say a number of years ago, “I’m more interested in what the other 95% are doing.”

12/19/2007 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The B-52s late founder, Ricky Wilson, actually developed a lot of unusual tunings. You could also add to the mix white suburban funk, B-movie soundtracks, spy movie theme music, beach party, '50s exotica, surf sounds, campy thrift-shop chic, UFOlogy, and trailer trash culture.

12/19/2007 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Part 1 - We like to put SO MUCH stock in the grand scheme of history and its MEANING. What if the only history that matters on the outside (of history) is the history we each leave moment by moment by moment...

...and, of course, the music of the B-52s.

Joan - "Do I need to reboot, or just de-frag?

Or both...?"

You? Ummm, neither.

Part 2 - What if at the end of history, all the moments of history will be stripped away (forgotten) by all rememberers except those moments that fulfilled the will of the One Who created history by and for His will? The remaining story would then be there eternally for His own to forever discover and marvel at. I want to be there for...

Part Three

12/19/2007 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Amen.

12/19/2007 09:16:00 PM  
Anonymous walmart shopper said...

Yeah, all those -- kitschy bouffant sputnika, or something like that.

12/19/2007 11:18:00 PM  
Anonymous coonified said...

"history will be stripped away (forgotten) by all rememberers except those moments that fulfilled the will of the One Who created history by and for His will?"

That's what I was saying Nomo. It's as if the more we progress (real progress), the less little facts and details of the past matter, and the more the SIGNIFICANCE of those hisotorical moments shine through; and we can distil essence from the past in proportion to our own significance now. That was what I said in short.

12/20/2007 05:57:00 AM  
Anonymous mainman said...

"It's as if the more we progress (real progress), the less little facts and details of the past matter, and the more the SIGNIFICANCE of those hisotorical moments shine through; and we can distil essence from the past in proportion to our own significance now."

I admit to being confused by a lot of the heady discussion here today/yesterday, but doesn't your statement, cooni, conflict with the way things have gone down. Wasn't the Genesis take a more complete distillation of essential reality than the reductionistic holy grail of natural selection? I think I understand what you're saying about facts being subsumed and, in a sense, reduced in significance as higher order concepts take hold, and I can see how we can sink below the horizontal plane when we get lost in reductionism, or rise when we "get" a higher order take on reality, but I'm having trouble with how much more advanced, by that standard, the ancients would need to be considered. Genesis, after all, speaks to things that scientism doesn't, namely where we come from, where we're headed, and what we're to do while we're here. It doesn't just "leave out unimportant . . . detail," it goes infinitely beyond Darwinism in what it says and does.

So, would that mean that we've really been sinking for thousands of years, or just treading water? If so, how do we get there from here? Or am I just coonfused?

12/20/2007 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Still trying to catch up with being away from the internet for a week, head is near bursting.

Regarding History, the _ism'ist theories is general, and Hegel in particular, I see as , technically speaking, Stücke von Exkrementen, or Pieces of Poop.

Their theories, rules and explanations of Historyare as useful as literary theories of Shakespeare’s Sonnets and plays - they may help to put them into some structure, you just need to remember that Shakespeare didn't know them, and didn't use them, and they are very often inadequate or flat out wrong.

As Math requires a student to memorize their multiplication tables in order to move above the mechanical levels of arithmetic, so does a student need to memorize numerous names, dates and events - but that isn't History, anymore than multiplication tables are mathematics – they are only appendixes.

History is an understanding of how the prevalent ideas of the time led to the facts that occurred, as viewed through your best understanding of those Ideas and philosophies, as can best be grasped from within your own philosophical framework - undertaken with a willingness to examine and amend as needed, your own philosophical framework.

That alone explains why history is not taught today, Math either, only _ism'ist views of them.

The why, is that Math and History cannot be done without You. You have to do the 'x'ing in 5x5 in order to arrive at 25, You have to solve for '5n x 3a = 15a x 1n' there is no template in the appendix that can do it for you, there's no removing your thinking with Reality, from the equation.

You can't teach History without facts, without understanding the ideas prevalent at the time, and without teaching ideas that are themselves greater than or equal to the Ideas that were in place at the time. Hence, as Ricky noted, the History of the Founding Fathers is not taught, but not just because it is inconvenient or looked down on, it is not taught because it cannot be taught without resulting in the total destruction of every 'idea' that the leftist NEA teachers are drilling into our kids through every other class in the 'curriculum'.

Again, as noted awhile back, if you want to gain a good grasp not only of Classical Liberalism, but of History and the Founders era, read the constitution clause by clause in light of the relevant thought (all linked to) that, and as, they understood it at the time - NO ONE presents such a intellectual and historical feast as this site "The Founders Constitution" , presented by University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund.

12/21/2007 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"- NO ONE presents such a intellectual and historical feast as this site "The Founders Constitution" , presented by University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund. "

Well... present OC blog excepted, of course.
(Don't taze me Cus!)

12/21/2007 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger Elephant said...

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12/30/2007 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

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12/30/2007 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

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12/30/2007 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

van, imagine coming upon this blog NOW, and trying to catch up. i'm doing a pretty darn good job though. by tonight, i will have caught up for all of dec 07, and i already have churned i think half? of oct 05. heh, that only leaves like what, um... how many months. oh well... i'm really not in a hurry to exhaust this stuff so i pleasurely and merrily trot, wade, swim, skip, and pluck through it. God is good to have hand-carried me to this blog. i like my secret reading status but that gets lonely and bursty so i've shared a little here.

12/30/2007 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

a quick thought as I am combing through these posts about facts and quantities, qualities, meanings, etc... maybe it is abundantly obvious but it might not hurt to mention, this hedges awfully near what autistic people go through. I mean, it seems like they have a fact perceiver without an organizer, only a string of unrelated facts. No meaning to them, no meta-story.

I shall finish reading the comments now.

12/30/2007 09:34:00 PM  

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